a member of a military infantry unit trained to attack or land in combat areas by parachuting from airplanes.

1940–45; para-3 + trooper Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

1941, from para(chute) + trooper. The collective noun paratroops is first recorded 1940. Earliest ref. is to the German invaders who were expected to drop on England.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
There was another paratrooper in the back, one more curled up in the trunk.
He's a big guy, a former paratrooper and prosecutor.
He lost his eyesight after serving as a paratrooper and taking knocks to the head.
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